Pre-selected file opens regardless of which file I double-click

Registration date
Friday October 31, 2014
Last seen
October 31, 2014
This is a problem I have never encountered before and am quite hapless regarding so my apologies if my explanation is long-winded. Also my apologies if this is not the right forum - it is my first time here so if the problem should be posted on a different forum please let me know.

I have been looking at a friend's Dell Inspiron with Windows 8. The problem with it is that, whatever folder one is in (or on the Desktop), it is usually the file at the bottom of the view which is highlighted as selected. So regardless of which file the mouse double clicks on, it is the highlighted file which opens.

As you can imagine, we have been tearing our hair out over it! ;-)

The cursor moves along with the mouse but the selection when you click does not change.

I tried it with an external keyboard and mouse connected by usb and the same problem persists. We thought it might be a virus so after logging in through the bios we managed to run the anti virus and anti-malware software but to no avail. I thought reverting the system to an earlier point in time might do it which I did - and that seemed to marginally improve things - i.e. the mouse would behave itself for a little while and then the same problem would reappear.

Is this a problem with a hardware driver - if so which one? The only other thing I can think of is reverting to System Defaults - which would wipe out everything on the disk so this would be a last resort.

Any suggestions most welcome!